Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels: Insulting the President, from Washington to Trump

       “This authoritative handbook reveals how insults have always been a part of American politics.” — Library Journal, Starred Review.

Baltimore Sun, March 18, 2020.

Washington Informer,  April 15, 2020

The Oregonian, March 31, 2020

World Magazine,  April 11, 2020 


Sorry About That: The Language of Public Apology

“This is a terrific book, full of compelling examples and expert analysis. Reading this book will not only help you become better at making a mea culpa: you’ll become a sharper observer of other people’s apologies too.”–Mark Peters, The Visual Thesaurus.

reviewed in:

Library Journal, June 1, 2014.

The Visual Thesaurus, June 11, 2014.

The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2014.

The Washington Post, June 20, 2014.

The Christian Century, Jan. 2, 2015.

Choice, April 2015.

  Do You Make These Mistakes in English?

“Well written in a tone that would be easily digested by undergraduates and engaging for an interested non-academic reader. Battistella has done an outstanding job engaging the scholarship of history, marketing, the history of marketing, the history of education, the history of English pedagogy, and the development of the self-help industry.” –Jeffrey Reaser, North Carolina State University

 reviewed in:

Times Literary Supplement 1/9/2009, Issue 5519, p 32.


Choice, April 2009

   Bad Language: Are Some Words Better Than Others? 

 “Battistella shows how views about language can’t always be aligned predictably with the political Right and Left.”–Winifred Davies, University of Wales Aberystwyth.

reviewed in:

Discourse & Society. May 2008, Vol. 19 Issue 3, pp 411-414.

Journal of Sociolinguistics. Feb 2007, Vol. 11 Issue 1, pp 136-140.

Columbia University Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 2.

  The Logic of Markedness

“This thorough and well-researched book … elucidates the different theoretical principles and methodological approaches to markedness espoused by practitioners of both theories in a systematic and concentrated way.”–Yishai Tobin, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

reviewed in:

Language. Dec 98, Vol. 74 Issue 4, p 832.

Journal of Linguistics. Sep 98, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p 501.

English Language Notes. Mar 1998, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p 74.

   Markedness: The Evaluative Superstructure of Language

“Battistella presents a clear exposition of the history and development of markedness theory in linguistic thought, from the theory’s inception by Roman Jakobson and Nikolai Trubetzkoy in their works on phonology through various contemporary theoretical schools, including generative theory and post-Praguean structuralism.”–Edna Andrews, Duke University

reviewed in:

American Anthropologist. Dec 91, Vol. 93 Issue 4, p 1000.

Journal of Linguistics, Volume 28, Issue 01, March 1992, pp 228-233.

American Speech Vol. 67, No. 1 (Spring, 1992), pp. 102-104.